What to expect in iPad 2.0

And here comes version 2 of iPad! What can Apple provide for an already cool gadget? Here’s a sneak a peek. Apple will bring front and back cameras to the iPad. The cameras are a definite upgrade incentive for first-gen iPad owners, but they also expand the reach of FaceTime and bolster Apple’s mobile video standing.

Many will object that the rear-facing camera isn’t as much of a certainty, especially if Apple just wants people to use video calling, but I think we’ll see it. It’ll draw in users who don’t already have an iPhone or iPod touch for mobile video, and besides, the ability to switch between views is something Apple really pushed in its FaceTime-based iPhone marketing campaigns. It’s a key differentiator, and Apple wants users to have it on all mobile platforms.

There are reports that the new version will bring ports into the iPad. I’m not overly thrilled about this but it has its obvious practical benefits. The iPad will come with mini-USB and two dock connectors so it can be docked in either portrait or landscape mode.

The case will get an update, though it probably won’t be a dramatic one, like what we saw with the iPhone 4. We’ll see a slimmer and lighter iPad, made possible by new tech introduced in the MacBook Air, including a low-profile camera unit and better battery tech. The aluminum back will stay, unless Apple’s patent for nitride coatings for stainless steel has already borne fruit, since that would allow better communication from the iPad’s various antennas.

The A4 powering will remain, but it’ll get a speed bump. We’ll probably see a 1.5GHz version, and we’ll definitely get at least 512MB of RAM to bring the iPad up to par with the iPhone 4. I’m thinking speed and performance will be what Apple focuses on to distance itself from BlackBerry and other competitors, since it has a head start in this arena with its own low-power mobile processor design.

Another focus, and one that Apple will sell much more heavily to consumers, will be the quality of the display. Apple showed with the iPod touch that it was committed to bringing Retina Display technology to devices beyond the iPhone, and it won’t stop there.

Another inheritance the MacBook Air will pass on to the iPad 2 is greater storage capacity. As Apple boosts mobile storage to further its efforts with Apple TV and AirPlay, and as flash prices continue to drop, 128GB will be an option with the next lineup. More storage will also be important as more and more people opt to take their video files with them on the go.

Apple certainly knows how to keep the wow factor with their products. If you don’t have an iPad already, I strongly suggest you to get one!

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